PEN Argentina relaunches, dissecting Dothraki, and more

May 23, 2014

News, Reviews, and Interviews

Following success at this year’s London Book Fair, where Korean literature was the main theme and focus, The Korea Times notes that K-Lit is now becoming more popular and widespread throughout the reading world.

Earlier this month, Wesleyan University announced its first ever distinguished literary translator, naming Norman Shapiro as this year’s honoree.

The Chinese government recently raised alarm over the number of “foreign words” used within the Chinese language. In response, the New York Times wonders whether there is such a thing as a pure language, free from outside influence.

Translation is a highly precise art, but what happens when a translator is faced with an issue over clarity? Should she stay true to the original, even if it causes confusion, or is it ok to improvise a bit?

You may think your job is demanding, but Jang Jin-sung’s former position takes the cake. As a propaganda poet for North Korea, he was responsible for proofing poems for Kim Jong-il, the country’s dictator from the 1990s to 2011.

The Mantle recently successfully crowdfunded a new anthology of African literature. If you weren’t able to be an early backer of the project, you can still purchase copies through the magazine.

University of Oklahoma professor and Chinese Literature Today editor Jonathan Stalling was recently interviewed by New Letters about his studies in Chinese literature and poetry.

After years of indifference in the area, PEN International is attempting to re-organize and re-open the PEN Center in Argentina.

The Rolex Arts Initiative mentors, which include Michael Ondaatje, selected the 2014 mentees for architecture, dance, film, literature, music, theater, and the visual arts this week.

For Your Calendar

For anyone wishing to kick their writing into high gear, the OU Writing Center would love your participation in this year’s MegaWryte events, which hope to help graduate students achieve a combined total of 1,000,000 (one million) written words this summer.

For our readers in the U.K., don’t forget this event: several Syrian artists will be travelling throughout the area in June to launch Syria Speaks, a PEN-supported anthology of art and culture.

Learn how to utilize and revitalize poetry in the classroom by attending this year’s Summer Poetry Institute for Educators events. Applications are currently open and being accepted on a rolling basis until July 5, 2014.

Fun Finds and Inspiration

Any Game of Thrones fans out there? The Dothraki language, often featured in the first two seasons of the show (and the first few books), is actually a complex, grammar-rich language. Here are a few more facts you might not know about the show’s fantasy language.

What’s a day in the life of the New York Public library like? This new video describes one single day, but shows the greater importance of libraries in today’s world.

In an old, but excellent, blog interview, writer Sue Goyette talks about the importance of silence in your writing.